Read our guide to renting out your empty room. Learn what you need to know about taking in a lodger, including how to advertise the room and who to inform.
Renting out your spare room can be an easy way of boosting your income and meeting new people. You can currently make up to £7,500 tax free from having a lodger, so you can expect more than just pocket change for your efforts.
Not sure where to get started? Keep reading for our step by step guide to renting out your empty bedroom.
1. Advertise your property
There are plenty of ways to get the word out about your room. Make sure you’ve taken some good quality photos of the room and decide on the overall monthly cost so people know if it suits their budget before they apply.
While community or workplace notice boards are useful, there are plenty of methods that can help you find the perfect lodger without limitations.
Badi is a great platform to advertise your property to people across the globe, making it easier to find the perfect lodger. Our free tools allow you to advertise your property and make your ground rules clear – perhaps you only want non-smokers in your home? If so, the chat feature is a great way of getting to know potential housemates and finding the right person for your home. With our smart recommendations and filter system, finding a housemate has never been so easy.
2. Find out more about them
As well as checking your potential lodger’s right to rent, it’s a good idea to do some more checks. There are plenty of ways to find out more about your potential housemate before they move in.
Ask for a reference from both their employer and previous landlord if possible. If that all looks okay, take a peek at their social media accounts before requesting a casual phone call or a chat over a coffee. Getting to know them through apps and social media is a great way of finding out if you have anything in common before you move in together.
3. Establish the contract length
It’s important to inform the lodger as to how long the room will be available before any contract is signed. Discuss this with them to find out how long they’ll need the room, and see if this works with your plans. Even if you can rent out the property for an indefinite period, it’s wise to have a fixed term in place. You’ll also have to decide how much notice must be given if you or the lodger decide to move out early, or if there’s a change in circumstances.
4. Lay out the rules
Rules aren’t only essential for boundaries, it can also help you both know if you’re compatible for living together. You should set the ground rules so your housemate knows what they can and can’t do. Do this before signing a contract so you’re both happy with the house rules.
5. Know what facilities you have to provide
Again, you should let the lodger know this from the offset. Legally, you have to let them access a bathroom and a kitchen, but otherwise it’s up to you. You may have a home gym, living room or conservatory so let the lodger know if they can use this space before they sign a contract.
6. Let your insurer know of your plans
Check out your home insurance policy to see if it mentions taking on a lodger. You may find that it’s mandatory to inform them of changes to your living situation. You may need to change your plan or update it, so giving them a call is always essential.
7. Give your mortgage lender a call, too
Not notifying your mortgage lender that you’re renting a room out could cause a breach in your contract, so it’s always worth letting them know.
8. Create an inventory and get a deposit
An inventory will help you keep track of damage without the risk of major dispute. This is especially important if you’re letting out a furnished room, but even rooms that don’t include furniture should have an inventory. List all the current marks and damage to the room so you know what was there before your lodger moved in.
A deposit is a vital part of renting. It gives you piece of mind that you have a backup in case the lodger leaves without paying rent, or if they damage part of your property.
9. Inform the council
When you take on a lodger, there may be changes to your council tax bill, especially if you currently live on your own. It’s worth double checking to see if you can get a discount by giving them a call or checking online.
10. Find your perfect housemate with badi
Now that you know how to rent out a room and who you need to tell, it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Whether you’re advertising your own room or looking for somewhere to live, why not try badi? Our filters and chat features help you get to know potential housemates in an instant.